colossal disappointment of 2001 -- Disney's California
Adventure -- did do one favor for Disneyland. It took all the attention
off of its previous mega-flop, the Dead Weight of '98, the renovated
The Company, to its credit, has moved quickly to "fix" DCA by
adding characters, changing shows, building new rides, easing annual
passholder restrictions, and offering non-stop discounts. The same cannot
be said of the New Tomorrowland.
After consuming more than $100 million, Tomorrowland has less to show
for itself than before the "expansion." No Submarine Voyage, no
Skyway, no PeopleMover, no CircleVision, not even Mission to Mars. In
becoming the Astro Orbiter, the Rocket Jets lost the one thrill that
separated it from Dumbo -- altitude. Star Tours and Space Mountain remain,
basically unchanged. All that remains of Rocket Rods, the signature
E-ticket addition, is a crumbling track. Of fountain Cosmic Waves, a
marble ball (shown above).
There are a few exhibit to see, the now-stale American Space Adventure
and the sparsely-visited Innoventions. Of course, the renovation's most
noticeable change -- a vibrant paint scheme -- grows more faded by the
Fortunately, some tweaks are on the
way. Nothing major, mostly safety and cosmetic enhancements,
but at this point Tomorrowland will take any attention it can get.
Due to a state safety requirement, the rails around Astro Orbiter have
been raised. The new railings will soon feature laser etched
"planets" in gold and silver.
Plans have been submitted to install safety gates at the loading area
for Autopia. Although they may prove a tight squeeze, the gates are
supposed to leave just enough room for guests to enter and exit their car.
Also installed along the Autopia track are numerous new "No
Bumping" signs that light up at night. The "Numbered" signs
along the boarding lanes are also expected to be planted into the ground
soon so guests can't hang on them and fall onto the track.
The ride operators at the Off Road area now have a PA system at their
disposal so they can direct guests. And an additional cast member has been
added to the rotation: a "speiler" towards the end of the track.
The American Space Experience is slated for a three-day remodel in
November to update its displays to more recent NASA projects. Long term,
though, the Pin Shop likely will expand to take over the exhibit's current
Star Tours should be down
for a two-day rehab in November to repaint the interior and a one-day
rehab in December to re-carpet the inside.
Staff is also hoping that something will be left in the budget for
Tomorrowland to receive Christmas decorations this year and possibly the
popular post-fireworks snow effect. One option, said a cast member, is
"to put the snow machines on top of the Rocket Rod tracks. At last,
something that works on the Rocket Rods tracks, hee hee."
Nothing has been finalized on the most-talked about major changes: the
addition of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, a new CircleVision movie,
a new film for Star Tours, and a complete makeover of Space Mountain.
A recent rumor floating through Tomorrowland has the new Star Tours
movie arriving -- along with new ride operator costumes -- in 2005, to
coincide with the release of the next Star Wars movie.
"They'll make it to Endor and encounter storm troopers and such while
on the planet," shares a cast member, who predicts the project will
never get off the ground. "These are the same rumors we heard when
the first and second (Star Wars) movies came out."
Space Mountain is slated for new
rockets and a new ride system in time for the 50th Anniversary
celebration in 2005. Exact additions, such as an entirely new track layout
and a cannon launch a la Disneyland Paris, have yet to be approved.
One ride operator says WDI is looking into the possibility of moving
the new Space Mountain load area to the Rocket Rods boarding area!
"It sounds weird, but if they used the same size rockets, I guess
it's possible," he says. "There would be one tube that would
shoot the rocket into the Mountain and another to send it back at the
end." Far fetched, but interesting to imagine.
Now, on to Reader Mail:
|A cast member wrote:
Art Linkletter was overheard saying at the cast member's
latest Service Awards Banquet that he would love to emcee the
park's 50th anniversary television special (if there is one)
like the one when the park first opened. But a friend of mine,
and several people agree, that the company would choose someone
more "hip." Sadly, that would be a rap singer, or some
low-caliber star from the company.
So many of the decision-makers are such idiots, and the
reason the company and especially the parks are in such straits
is that no one is around that has a sense of history. Most of
the "old-timers" who knew how the park was run were
fired or forced to retire.
I noticed that not only was there a
sign attributing the repainting of Small World to the "50th
anniversary celebration," but also a similar sign was put in
front of the Carrousel pit. Wonder if this excuse will be used
every time something goes down for a really long rehab. "We
apologize for the inconvenience of closing the Mark Twain, Sailing
Ship Columbia, Tom Sawyer Island rafts, and Davy Crockett Explorer
Canoes for the next six months. In honor of Disneyland's upcoming
50th anniversary celebration, the Rivers of America have been
drained to restore it to its original glory of 1955, by filling it
for the first time in years with clean water."
of the World," Josh erupted:
I was happy to see your new article today. Of course, I
was VERY happy to read the title. It's amazing how little most
California people know about WDW.
Your first point, about anniversaries, was a little odd.
True, I think that it's lame that each year is some new
celebration -- I remember when the 15th anniversary was so cool
because it WAS an anniversary. They even had a parade and a song
about it! But now each year it's something and it's no big deal.
So wait ... are you saying that Disneyland should learn
from that mistake? Or WDW should? Hmmm.
Then you say that Anaheim is copying all of WDW's good
rides. Does that mean that Disneyland's doing that right? Or is
You continue with Disneyland's Main Street is better than
WDW's. Again, are you saying that WDW screwed up, and that
Disneyland should learn from that mistake?
Then you say WDW's cast members are grumpy and lame. Oh, I
see where this is going. This is another Disneylander's
"Walt Disney World sucks" article.
Come on!! We all know that Disneyland has the historical
pride of being the first and original. But Walt Disney World is
so much better than "The Disneyland Resort"!!!
Disneyland park is cramped and crowded. Too crowded. True,
Indiana Jones and Space Mountain are awesome, but the rest of
the attractions are virtually the same as Florida. But Florida
ALSO has Epcot, the Studios, the Animal Kingdom AND all of the
water parks and resorts. California gets lame California
Adventure, one cool hotel and two non-Disney constructed,
lightly rethemed high-rises.
The phrase "Disneyland Resort" is a joke!! How
many out-of-town people visit a year? How many out-of-state
people visit a year? Few. Most guests are OC or LA residents who
drive in for a day and leave. Heck, a good portion have annual
passes, and we KNOW how they're regarded by TDA!
For Disneyland to become a TRUE destination resort they
have to provide something new. They are COMPETING with Walt
Disney World, whether they like it or not. Disneyland has to
create a new park that is unlike anything created before.
Something that will lure East Coast visitors, people who are
sick of WDW's "100 years of magic" or the next
A park with ALL NEW rides, not WDW's recycled leftovers.
Something they've never seen before, something that takes MORE
than a day to see. A huge park. Kind of like Epcot in that way.
Two parks in one. All of a sudden a week at the Disneyland
Resort isn't such a bad idea. Two days at Disneyland. A day at
California Adventure. Two days at Park Three.
Disney could even offer tours of Hollywood. A shuttle to
the Santa Monica pier. The Getty museum. Little day trips around
town so people FEEL like they've seen LA, but in an organized
and family-friendly way.
These guests then HAVE to go back to Boston or Cleveland
or Washington and tell their friends and families, "Oh MAN!
You have to go to California!"
It's a competition between East and West. But people are
getting sick of East. Sick that there are no new attractions at
WDW. (And Test Track doesn't count 'cause it sucks.) If there
was an alternative, something fresh and new, but with the
trusted brand name of Disney, it would be gangbusters.
And you promote Disneyland to the American public as
"Walt's original theme park." When we first visited
Disneyland in 1988 from Maine my parents were so excited. This
was WALT'S PARK. The first one. The one that they grew up
watching on TV. Never mind that it's pretty much the same as
WDW's the Magic Kingdom. Play the damn Walt card!!!!!
So we have to:
A) Play into the grown public's nostalgia for
Disneyland: The Park.
B) Provide a third park BIG AND NEW AND FUN that makes
people flock, and then tell their friends.
C) Day trips to LA that are Disney-safe, and keep people
staying at the Disney hotels.
D) Keep California Adventure growing, it's not a bad
park, it's just a little small. Like Disney-MGM Studios when
E) Thus we allow park hopping. California Adventure is a
great park -- for a few hours visit.
F) The DVC idea was good. Go with that, too.
If Disney is serious about this "destination
resort" thing they sure don't look it. Where are the
national ads? How are they cornering the Eastern audience? There
are MILLIONS of loyal Disney fans out there, let's get them to
California and show them a good time.
Thanks for the spanking. I didn't mean
to turn this into a Disneyland vs WDW thing. I hate those
conversations. (My only opinion on the topic is Disneyland is
superior to ANYthing in WDW, but inferior to EVERYthing.) I liked
Snow White and I liked Beauty and the Beast -- do I have to square
them off against each other?
The idea was Disneyland could learn
from WDW -- both its successes and its failures.
Failure 1 - Anniversaries. Make them
count. For the 50th, show me the beef.
Success 1 - Great attractions to
steal. Disneyland's on its way with this one.
Failure 2 - Main Street becomes a
mall. Sadly, Disneyland's on it way with this one, too.
Failure 3 - Some cast members
grumpy, some non-cast members happy. I want to see Orange
County's best and brightest working at Disneyland not at the
liquor store on Harbor Boulevard.
Success 2 - DVC. Copy ASAP.
You're right about Disneyland
competing with WDW. I think this is something Disney forgot when
it turned Anaheim into a "Destination Resort." Most of
the people who would want to spend a week at a Disney Resort are
already doing that.
All your suggestions to
"fix" the Resort are right on, but this is stuff
Disneyland doesn't necessarily learn from WDW's successes and
failures. It's stuff they should have thought of before they
started tearing up the old parking lot.
Hopefully it's not too late.
|Michelle Culver inquired:
Can you explain a bit more about the toy store? You had
said the name of it was Once Upon A Toy?
It's a very large toy store, colorful,
well organized, with several large eye-catching displays. Such as
toy monorails running through toy Contemporary, Grand Floridian
and Polynesian hotels and toy trains running past toy Astro
Orbiters, Mad Tea Parties, Sun Wheels, Golden Zephyrs, etc.
Another is an interactive Mr.
Potatohead area with bins to buy "spare parts" such as
mouse ears, Mickey head balloons, cameras and sandals, and kiosks
where you can design your own beforehand and get a free color
The store seemed to be doing good
business, and shoppers -- especially children -- seemed very
excited. It was just nice to see a big Disney store that wasn't
just another big Disney Store.
|Michael A. Bowling wrote:
I enjoyed your article about what Disneyland can learn
from Walt Disney World and agree with much of it. We were at WDW
at the same time you were. In fact, our son turned 18 on October
1. We found that there were four pins commemorating Epcot's 20th
anniversary and bought them as a souvenir for our son.
Throughout the day, several cast members told us it was the
anniversary of Epcot and the opening of WDW.
Every cast member we interacted with at WDW was friendly
and helpful. The only grumpy cast members we encountered were a
couple of bus drivers for WDW Transportation.
|Tim Wolfers added:
I enjoyed your take on WDW, and have a few comments.
First, the Main Street store scene. With the exception of the
barber shop (where my son got a haircut which was a highlight of
our trip), Main St. is simply a retail strip mall for Disney
souvenirs. We just rushed through on our recent visits (three in
the last four years).
We were there in June, and did not see any poor behavior
by ANY Disney cast members. Overall they were very friendly and
helpful. Especially the guest service members we talked to for
Priority Seatings. The only "surly" behavior we
encountered was from Magic Kingdom guests, who seemed to be
overwhelmed, or over tired, or were simply out of place. By that
I mean people who don't have any public manners, regardless of
where they are.
I agree with your timeshare analogy, but Anaheim needs to
fix their theme park problems before they ask the public to
finance their next overpriced lodging project. Florida is
quickly becoming "timeshareland," which I don't think
too much of. The reality of timeshare purchase is that you are
financing the sales pitch with your purchase, as much as 50% in
some cases. Does it really cost over $12,000 for six nights in a
motel room? Plus fees? Plus extra point costs? Don't get me
The other point you brought up was the lack of any kind of
Epcot anniversary celebration, even though you were there on the
exact DAY! That really surprised me. I have been to Disneyland
for "28th year" celebration, 30th anniversary (with GM
car giveaways), and the 25th for WDW in '96. They were all fun
celebrations, without really doing a whole lot other than
reminding guests they were appreciated. They now seem to rely
solely on resort-wide promotion "celebrations" to
entice visitors, which is little more than a slick marketing
The one other observation I had was concerning the gross
amount of sidewalk vendors, and strolling vendors. Especially at
places like Fantasmic, they bombarded us with junk food and cr*ppy
light souvenirs. The $14 light saber is nothing more than a
99-cent flashlight, with a 99-cent colored plastic tube on the
end. It seemed wherever there was a crowd (shows, parades) there
followed the cr*p sellers. (I did buy my son a spinning Buzz,
which is of good quality and he keeps by his bed for tucking in
I agree. The only extended time we
really spent on Main Street was getting a haircut for our
4-year-old son. A definitely highlight, especially when the
barbershop quartet arrived to serenade him.
Happy to hear about your experiences
with cast members. Certainly the vast majority we encountered were
fine, but the handful of grumps we ran into did stand out. Could
not tell if they were part-timers who didn't care about their
jobs, old-timers who were burned out, humidity victims or what.
The most ill-mannered, pushy guests we encountered were also at
the Magic Kingdom.
Don't know if it's because that park
is the most crowded, if parents are most frazzled there because of
demands of entertaining their children, not sure.
Anniversaries, which had been a great
source of pride for WDW and its cast members, are officially a
The one point I'll disagree on is the
Timeshare Dilemma. Personally, I've been disgusted with the whole
notion of timeshares since my first "free tour" nearly
20 years ago. Steep price, rundown accommodations, inflexible
booking time and location. But Disney's program, if you're
familiar with it, is the exact opposite (except for the price
part). Accommodations are beautiful and spacious (closer to condos
than motel rooms), and booking is very flexible (based on
availability, at time of year, length of stay, choice of
It's not for everyone but is a good
deal for people who plan to vacation at WDW at least every other
year for the foreseeable future, and want to lock down a decent
rate at a very nice facility. Guests will make longer, more
frequent visits and, I suspect, since accommodations are prepaid,
may have looser purse strings in the parks, shops and restaurants.
Disneyland could use that business,
and I think there's enough in Anaheim right now to make it work.
Now WDW may one day be in danger of
having too many Disney timeshare rooms and find itself unable to
fill its regular hotel rooms. Certainly that's not the case at
|On to the Disney-owned
Anaheim Angels, who won the World Series last night, in
case you hadn't heard, Bob Starcher wrote:
The question brought up by Ed about whether the Angels
would be part of Walt's "Dream" brings to mind some of
his work on the Walt Disney Presents shows. He had many shows
focusing on sports such as the Moochie series. And he had built
a ball field outside of Disneyland in the Holidayland area. I
even saw a picture of him at bat in a baseball game near the
studios on the back of the 'E' Ticket magazine.
I think Walt would have loved having the Angels. He liked
to diversify and get involved with a great many things.
Concerning your response to Ed's comments about Disney's
owning the Angels:
While baseball may be high quality inexpensive family
entertainment, it is NOT Disney! There are baseball teams (and
hockey, football, basketball, etc.) teams throughout the country
that provide the same (if not better) experience. In other
words, there is NOTHING special about the Angels that makes them
unique as to rate a place in Disney's Magical Realm.
Yes, the Angels CAN provide an enjoyable entertainment
experience, capturing those who, Disney fans or not, enjoy the
sport. But, they can do that even without a Disney connection.
As a Disneyland fan and Disney stockholder, my other issue
is that the money that Disney wasted in purchasing the team,
upgrading the stadium and covering the losses the franchise has
constantly incurred, would have gone a lot further in enhancing
the Disney experience by maintaining and improving Disneyland
over the last decade.
While Disney may not have the obligation to provide
everyone with everything, it DOES have the obligation to not
waste stockholder's investments on ego ventures. If Eisner wants
the Angels, let him pay for it out of HIS own pocket (even if
even THAT came out of our pocket).
Thanks for your note, but we disagree
sharply on this. What is inherently NOT Disney about baseball? Are
there some unwritten "Rules of Being Disney" I don't
There are theme parks throughout the
country that provide the same (if not better) experience as DCA.
There are park attractions that provide the same (if not better)
experience as the Monorail. There are TV networks that provide the
same (if not better) programs as the Disney Channel. Does that
make any of these Disney products NOT Disney?
Disney doesn't operate a "Magical
Realm." It runs a business, a business made famous and
successful by providing high quality family entertainment.
The financial issue is a completely
separate one (since profitability is, I assume, not a criteria for
something to considered "Disney"). And, trust me, had
Disney not bought the Angels, not one penny of the money saved
would have been spent on Disneyland.
Promotional art © MLB
Ex-CM shot back:
And what IS Disney about a baseball team? If Disney is
just going to jump into every situation that could be some way
tied to "family‚" they would eventually lose any
vestige of being something special and unique. Baseball teams
have been around for decades, and they all do the same thing.
The only real uniqueness is their location, moniker and fans.
Citing DCA, you prove my point. While Disney has been
wasting millions on diversified ventures like the Angels, they
have been penny pinching the very core of their existence. When
it gets to the point where Disney has lost the essence that
makes them unique, what reason is there to go to a Disney park
Their inattention has caused them to falter, not only in
theme parks, but also in their other core business, animation.
Eisner's fling into pro sports may have been a kick for him,
but, in the long run, it has done nothing but weaken the company
With the Monorail, again, if Disney had been focusing on
their core businesses, the chances are that there would not be
any attractions better than Disney's. And, if their increased
competition did develop a better attraction, Disney should
immediately counter with a better one. Instead, they have sunk
into cutbacks, reductions and limited budgets. None of those do
anything to improve Disney's parks.
The lack of attention towards the creative core of the
Disney Company has caused them to lose the talent that kept them
on top. And that lost talent has gone out and created products
that have left Disney in the dust.
The Disney Channel does provide a limited outlet for much
of their content. If they hadn't been able to coerce cable
distributors to make the Disney Channel a basic channel, they
would be losing money on that too.
Now, ABC is another thing altogether. That acquisition has
mired Disney in debt that they may not be able to break out of.
Then they go and blow another $5.8 billion for Fox Family.
While these acquisitions may have had some potential
benefits for the company, they certainly won't if it causes the
company to ignore their core businesses to death. If they had
kept the parks and Feature Animation in peak order, then there
probably wouldn't be an issue with SOME other ventures.
Disney's business IS the Magical Realm. That Magical Realm
was built around high quality family entertainment. But now, a
good portion of the high quality has been lost from that family
entertainment as needed funds are squandered elsewhere. Some may
say that owning a baseball is as family as anything else Disney
does. But, just because Disney buys something doesn't make it
The profitability is a key issue overall. As I said, if
they had kept the parks and animation in peak unchallengeable
condition, it wouldn't be as much of an issue for the company to
So you are saying that it doesn't matter what Disney gets
involved in because they won't spend money on Disneyland anyway?
So we're supposed to just give up on the parks, accept the cr*p
they are building under the Disney name? With that attitude,
then there will be no real Disney essence left in a decade. All
that will be left will be old Disney cartoons, decaying theme
parks, and people's memories of what the company used to be.
It's really getting down to the point where it's looking
pretty bad for Disney overall. The parks are deteriorating and
whatever efforts to keep them fresh are all driven by corporate
politics and bottom line strategies.
The official corporate party line is that everything is
fine and the company will recover once the economy does. If they
really believe that then they are being more dishonest with
themselves than they are with the public.
I guess I've ranted enough for now. My ongoing frustration
with the company may never be resolved. Even with the latest
corporate changes, there still doesn't appear to be any real
improvement in sight. So I'll let it go for now.
Keep up the good work at MousePlanet though. While we may
disagree on this topic, any chance of Disney recovering may
depend on the constant pressure for them to improve.
Our methodologies may differ, but I
think our hearts are in the same place.
I absolutely agree that Disney's
"golden geese" (theme parks, feature animation) should
be cultivated and cared for. Then again, so did Card Walker and in
the 1970s he almost destroyed the company because he thought it
should ONLY be about these things.
The company should grow beyond these
things. More types of entertainment that's high quality and
family-oriented and profitable, be they TV stations, hotels,
cruise lines, professional sports teams, whatever.
They don't have to have Mickey Mouse
painted all over them for the average consumer to enjoy them.
Profitability is vital but, again, has
nothing to do with if something is "Disney" or not.
Disneyland Paris is probably the most "Disney" thing
Disney has done in the last 15 years and the company may never
recoup its investment. Miramax is probably the most un-Disney
thing Disney has done and has been, on the whole, critically and
It absolutely matters what Disney gets
involved in. In my opinion, to strength the company and the brand,
it should be entertainment- related, high quality, family oriented
and potentially profitable. It need not be smothered in pixie dust
or have been created by Walt himself.
And it all has little effect on if the
parks get taken care of. Unfortunately, the executives' mindset
today is to suck every penny out of them, no matter how the theme
park or any other division is doing and no matter what the
long-term cost. This is heart-breaking... and bad business by both
of our definitions.
P.S. Give Eisner some credit. Fox
Family was $3.8 billion not $5.8 billion, meaning Disney overpaid
by only $3.5 billion.
|Lowell Bennink, a
sportswriter for the Orange County Register, noted:
I was amused by the comment someone made in your column
about baseball and the Angels not being a part of Walt Disney's
dream. Maybe Walt never really seriously thought about owning a
baseball team or any other sporting event. But he clearly
thought highly of sports. Look at how many times there were
sports references in movies and cartoons. How many times did
Goofy play sports in cartoons?
Plus, there is a major connection between Disney and the
Angels that goes way back. First, Walt Disney and Gene Autry
were friends. When the Angels came into existence, they played
in tiny little Wrigley Field in Los Angeles (yes, it was called
the same as the Chicago park because it was built by the same
family/company that built the Cubs' home). A year later, they
moved into the newly built Dodger Stadium, where they shared it
with the Dodgers. But Gene Autry was very unhappy with the
situation. He realized that, being in Los Angeles, the Angels
would always be the poor stepchild of the Dodgers. Especially
playing in the Dodgers' home park. And he didn't like the way
the Angels were treated by the Dodgers, where they were
constantly give the short shrift by the Dodgers' organization.
So Autry was dying to get out there.
Enter Walt Disney. As we all know, Disney found this nice
little town in Orange County called Anaheim. So he called Gene
Autry up and asked him if he would consider moving the club down
the freeway to Anaheim. They talked about it and Autry found it
a great idea. Anaheim had been in the process of trying to
improve its image. It had Disneyland, now it wanted something
else to make it into a big league city. They were putting
together the funding for a stadium in hope of luring an AFL
franchise (the NFL's rival league) to the city. When the city
fathers heard, through Disney, that the Angels would be willing
to move to their town, the city scrapped the idea of a football
stadium and built Anaheim Stadium, a baseball-oriented park.
Thus, it was because of Walt Disney, really, that we're
rooting for the Anaheim Angels today and not the San Fernando
Angels or Long Beach Angels or San Diego Angels. Plus, over the
years, there have been numerous tie-ins with the Angels and
Disney/Disneyland, as I think you mentioned. The
Disneyland/Angels tickets giveaways. Disney characters at games
for pregame festivities.
Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, the team changed its
name from the Los Angeles Angels to the California Angels when
they moved because Autry and his board feared alienating their
current fan base in Los Angeles by naming them after this tiny
little town in Orange County. Disney didn't worry about that by
the 1990s. They already had the Ducks. They knew Anaheim worked
|Roger Colton added:
Let's remind everyone that Walt loved baseball as much as
Gene Autry and both were part owners at one time of the
Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League!
In my humble opinion, Walt would have been proud of the
Angels and the company's involvement with the team. Now I don't
think he would have been too crazy about that monkey! Now Rally
Mickey? That I can see!
Promotional photo © MLB
And I still wish it had been that A's and Angels in the
ALCS instead of the Twins. It would have been a lot more
interesting, and some real baseball for the full seven games!
Thanks anyway for doing in the Yankees.
And finally, let's not forget the baseball connection in
Florida, too, with the Sports complex.
|Don Willis cheered:
|Ed Ober wrote:
I've been an Angel fan for most of my life (20 years). I
really started to follow them in 1989 when I went to the
All-Star game. I'll always remember the crash of '95 and the
burnouts of '98, 2000, and 2001. I was around during those other
years when the Angel teams were pretty bad. Every summer my
parents took me to at least five games. I loved watching Gary
Disarcina play. I was bummed when he retired. But now we have
David Eckstein to take his place.
I was angry when the Angels got shafted in the J.T. Snow
and Jim Edmonds trade. I was upset when Chuck Finley left and
Darin Erstad was almost traded and Troy Percival wanted to leave
the team. At least in the Edmonds trade we got Adam Kennedy, who
has blossomed. I was happy to see Mo Vaughan get traded to
acquire a veteran pitcher and see Aaron Sele get signed. I had
high hopes for the Angels this year. It has been great to see
them throw away all the demons from the past. I left to study in
Europe for a year a month before the season ended. I've followed
the games on the 'net since then.
What really upsets me is the bandwagon fans. All of the
sudden the Angels are doing good and there is red everywhere in
Anaheim. Where were these "fans" in the past? It's
usually the real fans who suffer. The ones who can't get post
season tickets because of these bandwagon fans. I've been told
by friends and my parents that if I was in Anaheim right now I'd
be very upset at this newfound interest in the Angels. I only
wonder how many of these "fans" will be around if the
Angels have an off year next season.
Promotional photo © MLB
It's funny; I was just talking to a
co-worker about this. He knew I'd been an Angels fan for 30 years
and asked if I was upset with all the bandwagoners.
I said that in '82 and '86 they bugged
me ('79 I was too young to notice). Here I'd been rooting for the
Angels though the worst of times and through the -- well, they
were mostly the worst of times -- and now come October 1 the
Angels are in the playoffs and all these people who had never been
to the ballpark before are suddenly huge Angels fans. The worst,
of course, was they gobbled up all the good playoff tickets and I
was left sitting about 600 feet away to right field.
They were MY team, I'd earned the
right to enjoy their accomplishments, and I didn't want to share
that success with people who didn't earn it.
I don't know why, but this year has
been the opposite. I love it that people have suddenly begun to
embrace baseball and, in particular, the Angels. The more fans,
the more exciting. I'd love to share this team and this euphoria
with the world. What I'm tired of is Yankees and Red Sox fans
filling up Edison Field. I hope to start seeing Angels fans fill
up Edison Field -- and will be looking for Angels fans at Yankee
Stadium and Fenway Park.
Let's enjoy the ride! This may be a
Reader reaction to last week's article, "Good Character."
Send your comments to David here.
David Koenig is the senior editor of the 80-year-old business journal, The Merchant Magazine.
After receiving his degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton (aka Cal State Disneyland), he began years of research for his first book, Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland (1994), which he followed with Mouse Under Glass: Secrets of Disney Animation & Theme Parks (1997, revised 2001) and More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland (1999); all titles published by Bonaventure Press.
He lives in Aliso Viejo, California, with his lovely wife, Laura, their wonderful son, Zachary, and their adorable daughter, Rebecca.
You can contact David here.
Click here to go to David's main page for a list of archived articles.
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